PINELLAS COUNTY, Florida – Responding to viewer questions and internet rumors about Duke Energy mismanaging its emergency response crews, 10Investigates sought out answers from the source.
Rumor 1: Duke Energy wasn’t allowing crews to work overtime
A Duke representative tells 10Investigates that work crews are out in the field for 16-hour shifts right now, with the only limiting factor involving safety.
Because many of the fixes involve live wires in customers’ backyards and risky areas, Duke doesn’t allow out-of-town contractors to work in those areas at night; only Duke crews are working overnight there.
Furthermore, a group of contractors from Illinois told 10Investigates they have been working long days everyday, from sunrise to sunset.
Rumor 2: Duke Energy is wasting resources by having crews sit around and wait
That same crew told 10Investigates there is some down time, as Duke dispatches one crew at a time. But the crew said it was a necessary evil, because after fixing major downed lines, most remaining fixes involve small breaks in the electrical grid: small lines down in hidden or remote places.
Spot-checks of other Duke activity hubs, such as Derby Lane, reveal few electrical trucks during the day, but hundreds returning at the end of the shift at night.
Rumor Verdict: False